Chapter 7

The Holy Ghost having in the previous chapters presented to us Christ as the sin-purger at the right hand of God, next our association with Him there, and then proceeded to direct our attention to Him as the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, the One who fills the entire space between God and our souls, now fixes our gaze upon the royal majesty of that priesthood of His, so that our confidence in Him may be perfect and joyful. Verses 1-3.—“For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, ...

Chapter 8

“Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum”: the summary of the whole, the principal or chief point is—“We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the Majesty of the heavens.” God has given us such a Priest—One who “became” us, exactly fitted to our condition. We need a priest who is very high up, for we are called with a heavenly calling, and such an high priest “became” us, as this one whom God has given us. The sum total of all that we c...

Chapter 9

Here we begin a new section of the Epistle. Already the Holy Ghost has fixed our attention on the enthroned Sinpurger, the living Victor at God’s right hand, and the mode of our association with Him there, and next proceeded to direct our eye to Him as our Priest, succouring and befriending us, in all our unworthiness and weakness, as we pass along, through the world, to that throne which He as our Forerunner, has already reached, and from which He will come to consummate His work of grace...

Chapter 10

This chapter opens by asserting, that the law had only a “shadow of good things to come.” Not only were its sacrifices insufficient, they were not even an exact similitude of the perfect sacrifice. They had to be offered again and again, yet they never took away sin, or gave a perfect conscience to the offerer. And this is what the worshipper drawing near to God must have. Apart from a conscience perfectly at rest, there can be no true worship; yet thousands go on week after week, in wha...

Chapter 11

On this chapter, we have a panorama of faith’s heroes, and their victories of Old Testament times. Not indeed all that faith is or does, but enough to shew us by the examples cited, how faith operates, both in doing and suffering. It was by their faith that these elders of ancient time were attested. Thus they became witness-bearers. So too must we walk; our motto is to be—“I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). Verses 2—“By it the elders obtaine...

Chapter 12

In this twelfth chapter to which we now come, the Spirit of God directs our gaze unto the Lord Jesus Himself, who trod the entire path of faith from beginning to end, without a break. These worthies of former times did but trust occasionally and with effort, at such periods as have been specially named to us. But there was no such inconstancy in Jesus. His path, like His work, was one whole. His advance along that path was continuous and unswerving. No matter what arose to tempt Him to turn ...

Chapter 13

This last chapter mainly consists of exhortations suited to the doctrine of the earlier parts of the epistle. Verses 1-6.—Once it was a nation with which God was in relationship, and in those days His command was for each to love His neighbour. But now He has a family called out of all nations, by which He is known as Father, whom He tells, as His children, to love one another as brethren. And this love must not be in word, but in deed and in truth. If some go forth to testify for Him, ...

1 Thessalonians - Hebrews

1 Thessalonians. In this Epistle the critical changes are few. In 1 Thess. 1:1 “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Origen expressly noted the words as not read in his day, though they are supported by the Sinaitic, Alexandrian, and many other good MSS and versions, etc. B F G and the best versions reject the words. — There are slight corrections in verses 8 and 10. In 1 Thess. 2:2 an expletive καί is expunged, as also γάρ in verse 9. — There is a...

Sinai and Its Terrors

Hebrews 12:18-21

From the triumph at the Red Sea was a succession of divine dealings in nothing but grace to Israel, the Gentile at the end, bringing to Moses his wife and sons, and, after offerings and sacrifice, eating bread with Moses and Aaron and all the elders before God.

The words just read which describe its distinctive character with all vividness, were addressed to confessors of Christ. They had been Jews, and still were exceedingly attached to what they called, and what might reasonably seem to be, the covenant. All know that ancestral religion with any show of coming from God, must have no small fascination for the natural heart. Men assume that what God Himself introduced with the utmost solemnity must be the right thing for man to receive and retain at all cost. But this scripture is expressly far otherwise. God was here giving the plainest warning that although His sovereign grace had brought His people out of Egypt, and they had promised to keep His covenant as the condition of being His peculiar people, it could issue in nothing but failure and ruin. None could live by the commandment holy and just and good, because they were all sinners.

How could sinful man be saved by the law? It was not given to save sinners. It was meant to convince such as seriously tried to obey it, that none could stand on that ground before God. Life is of His grace to the believer. We are saved by grace through faith. He that breaks the law must surely die. Hence no matter what helps may later accompany the law, it is said in 2 Cor. 3 to be the ministry of death and of condemnation. Its real aim is to overwhelm the guilty, that they might turn from self and law to the Saviour.

Providence and Faith

Ex. 2; Acts 7; Heb. 11

(BT Vol. N2. p.376.)

The same principles which accompany the moral deadness of the unbeliever, may be found in the believer, weakening and hindering his simplicity in following Christ. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” It is true, the believer is not in the flesh (Rom. 8:8), and through grace he can please God; yet the flesh is in him, and, so far as it is unjudged, it will prove a sure and sad obstacle in the path of faith. Hence there is not an evil in the unregenerate heart of man which the regenerate can afford to despise. The tendency, nay, the root of all, is in his own heart, although, as a believer baptised unto Christ’s death, he is entitled to say that he is crucified with Christ-the flesh crucified with its affections and lusts. This is his weapon. He has died, and he that thus died has been freed (or justified) from sin. And if dead, how shall we live any longer therein? But then, although in God’s estimate this is a fact, for He has identified the believer with the death and resurrection of Christ, yet it is a fact which faith alone realises.

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